The Virginia Colony Analysis

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Edmund S. Morgan believes the Virginia colony was a disaster due to the lazy and stubborn minded English settlers. Morgan does not view Virginia as a successful colony. The English had an interesting relationship with the Indians during their century-long settlement battle. When first arriving the English had announced their guardianship toward the Indians. Their civilized relationship allowed the English to buy corn from the Indians. The English had been in America for three planting seasons already and were yet to plant any sort of crop (Morgan par 3). They relied on the Indians for food. However, during the year of 1609-10, George Percy believed the Indians were harboring runaway settlers. He took revenge and burned roughly sixteen Indians…show more content…
She feels the Virginia colony built the foundation for the English territory and the formation of America (Skillin par 2). The English had been very successful travelers and maintained a successful colony back home. Kupperman feels the efforts of the English settler should be viewed for their all-around success, not just for the “failures” in colonial America (Skillin par 3). However, these “failures” lead to their achievement as Kupperman believes. Another argument Kupperman presents is, all the other English settlements replicated Jamestown’s ideals. (Skillin par 6). Kupperman does not underscore the settler’s hardships or ignorance. In fact, she explains how their complete disregard for the climate caused the English more issues than necessary (Shifflett par 1). As Bernard Bailyn puts it, the English, with all of their hardships, “placed the world in motion” (Shifflett par 6). Kupperman who is very knowledgeable, with several books written, has the right to refute the lazy settler theory. She provides reasonable insight as to why the failures of the English actually made them the first successful…show more content…
Each is as convincible as the other. However, I believe they are both right. Clearly, the first English settlers were lazy. Having most of them been gentlemen, most did not want to get their hands dirty in another trade. They were above that type of work. However, this caused the government to come up with the different skills needed to create a functioning colony. Granted it took them over a century to figure out how to successfully grow crops in abundance. Their hardships taught them essential survival skills. While I do not believe Jamestown could be considered the first developed colony, they did set the groundwork for other settlers. The English learned to overcome weather, social, and agricultural problems. They held many forms of government, all with vastly different opinions and pursuits. Through this trial and error, they were able to figure out what worked and what didn’t. For the most part, the English obtained more failures than successes. However, I believe this has largely to do with the lazy settlers. Had the settlers been ambitious, knowledgeable hard workers there is no doubt in my mind Jamestown would have been the first successful colony. Needless to say, their efforts were not for nothing and provided the framework for other settlers to follow by. For this reason, they should get some recognition for their
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